After days of speculations, the Los Angeles Lakers decided against making roster adjustments before at the NBA trade deadline on Thursday.
L.A. reportedly engaged in trade conversations with various teams, including the New York Knicks, the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets. The Lakers were believed to have shown interest in swapping Russell Westbrook for John Wall.
Reports also claimed they tried to put together various trade packages centered around Talen Horton-Tucker.
But in the end, the Lakers refused to include additional assets such as trade picks in the deals they discussed, unwilling to overpay for midseason roster improvements and unable to find a return for Horton-Tucker or Kendrick Nunn, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne said on “NBA Today”:
“They would like to improve the team and not just trade players for picks at this point. There is a deal out there for John Wall and Russell Westbrook if they want it. So far it doesn’t look like they are budging on the inclusion of additional assets to incentive Houston to do that. … They’ve been in conversations with numerous teams; Talen Horton-Tucker is the name that’s been floated around, they were trying to use Kendrick Nunn. We’ve heard all of this before. But Talen Horton-Tucker’s value is not what it was. This was a guy we were talking about last year when the Lakers were trying to get Kyle Lowry, they were so high on him and people around the league were so high on him. That’s one of the reasons why they didn’t do the Kyle Lowry trade. Now, can you get a first-round pick for him? That’s not happening.”
After the trade deadline passed, reports claimed the Lakers would search for reinforcements on the buyout market. L.A. has had mixed results finding valuable assets among the players who had their contracts bought out in the past.
During the 2019-20 season, Markieff Morris turned out to be a major part of the Purple and Gold’s championship run after signing in late February. However, the Lakers didn’t have as much luck last year, when Andre Drummond ended up struggling to fit in among the injury-ravaged Lakers.
LeBron James: trade deadline rumors ‘weighed’ on Lakers
LeBron James was looking forward to getting past the trade deadline, as the four-time NBA champion said it had a negative effect on the Lakers.
“Obviously it’s something that’s weighing on this group that we’re trying to all get through,” James said after Thursday’s 107-105 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Almost feels like it’s like fog, just fog in the air and we’re trying to see what’s on the other side of it. I obviously take today, take tomorrow like any other day and if something changes, then I’ll approach it.
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